Brand purpose needs a rebrand. It isn’t what you say or why. It isn’t how a brand looks, or the values it projects. It isn’t a one-off campaign or an isolated social media interaction. It’s all of the above together. And more.
Purpose isn’t a reaction to whatever is happening right now – it is a set of values that gives a brand reason to live forever. These values can’t just be words. They have to be tangible – lived and felt through every experience of the brand.
And it can’t be a one-off stunt. Brands are always engaging and responding to news and real world events. But now the stakes are much higher. Consumers are more conscious than ever about the impact they – and consequently the brands they engage with – have on our planet and societies.
Recent research has found that 62% of consumers want and expect brands to take a stand on environmental, social and political issues. The brands that do, in return, earn trust, loyalty and business. The report finds that consumers are six times more likely to purchase products from a brand with a strong purpose.
A strong brand purpose is one which consistently and authentically addresses the systemic challenges of society. It empowers a brand to positively shape the world we share. But it also opens doors for businesses to expand into new areas.
Purpose can be big and broad – but it has to be tangible and relevant to the experience of the brand. Purpose can’t just exist on a webpage. Uniqlo recently launched a new feature that allows customers to “Buy With Purpose” online. At the checkout, users receive a donation credit which they can send to a choice of three non-profit partners. This naturally aligns with the brand’s LifeWear philosophy – putting a focus on clothing which has a positive long-term impact on society.
Colgate describes itself as an “innovative growth company that is reimagining a healthier future for people, their pets, and our planet.” And it has put these values to practice by sharing access to its latest patent for the world’s first recyclable toothpaste tube.
LEGO isn’t a brand that makes toys. LEGO exists to “’inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”. Ben & Jerry’s pioneered this thinking – determining its purpose as a brand that advances human rights, supports social and economic justice and protects Earth’s natural systems. In other words, using ice cream to change the world one scoop at a time.
Through purpose, these brands are able to marry the needs of people, the needs of the planet – and the need to drive profits. These are the fundamental ingredients of sustainable growth. And it works because these statements are more than just a bit of copy on a webpage – they tell a story that authentically reflects the brand experience.
This season, our series of masterclasses focus on how you can drive Sustainable Growth in FY22 – growth that is both good to the planet and commercially rewarding; it’s the business of aligning profit, purpose and planet.
Join the Butterfly team on Thursday the 12th of May at 3 pm BST / 10 am ET as we invite you to our second masterclass – ‘Stop talking about Purpose – Acting on what you believe, in a world of transformation’. The session will explore the state of brand “purpose”; why we’re using the term less and less, and how to authentically tap into societal shifts to drive engagement, movement and momentum.
We will share how brands can go beyond purpose-washing and do something real and impactful. We’ll discuss:
- What does brand purpose mean today?
- How can you accurately take stock of your business? Where have you done well and where have you gone wrong?
- How do you identify your place in the world? How do you stand out against a sea of sameness?
- How to tap into social movements and take meaningful action
We will be joined on our virtual sofa with two leaders re-envisioning impact & brand purpose to do holistic good and have some fun along the way:
Alice Moore, Global Purpose-led Brand Director, Reckitt
Christina Habib, Beauty & Wellbeing Chief Insights Officer, Unilever